A Kiss After Dying: Evgeni Bauer’s ‘After Death’

I recently had the please of watching Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom’s Shutter (2004), a fairly effective, dirge-like meditation on men haunted by random and not-so-random acts of negligence. I’m no expert on Thai horror, but I enjoyed the film immensely and thematically it reminded me of Evgeni Bauer’s remarkable After Death (1915), which was part of an amazing collection of Bauer’s films given to me by my friend Gib. Bauer was one of the pioneering artists in early Russian cinema, and his films reached levels of psychological complexity and visual elegance which were astounding for 1915. Expounding on themes of the living haunted by memories of the dead and characters unable to surmount the transgressions of their waking lives and paying for it with either spiritual affliction or death, After Death is the story of a young, reclusive student who becomes the romantic obsession of a moonstruck actress. He spurns her maniacal attentions and the results are, of course, tragic. I’m not able to write too much at the moment, so I’ll post a few images from the two films to give a sense of why I find them so striking…

Shutter (2004)

Shutter (2004)

After Death (1915)

After Death (1915)

Shutter (2004)

Shutter (2004)

After Death (1915)

After Death (1915)

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~ by bluenosekitty on July 18, 2008.

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